A Delicious Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Hey friends! I got really great feedback from my last recipe post so here I am again with another delicious recipe! Though not vegetarian, this one is really easy and amazingly tasty!

I was perusing Pinterest the other day when I came across a pin featuring this post on Design Sponge. I was running low on insulin with no refill for a couple days, so I had already informed my husband that I was going to require a low-carb diet to make it until the pharmacy had my insulin ready. And, I’ve been testing hubby’s squash tolerance recently. Though I love all squash, he’s not such a fan and has said yes to spaghetti squash, but no to acorn squash. Mental note.

So, back to the recipe. I see it online and realize it combines two of hubby’s favorite things: garlic and bacon. AND it also combines two of my favorites: tomatoes and rosemary. Well, since I’m on a low-carb kick, I think to myself that we could just sub spaghetti squash for the real pasta and we might have a winner! Ding ding ding! The best part? We had almost all of the ingredients in our kitchen already! YES!

So, here’s my interpretation of the recipe, with photos of course:


  • 1 ripe spaghetti squash
  • 3 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 2 large tomatoes (plus about a cup of random cherry tomatoes you have in your fridge)
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


Cook the spaghetti squash. I cut it in half lengthwise, then place it (cut-side down) in a baking dish and add about a half-inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until the flesh is soft (but still a little crunchy).

In about the last 10 minutes of cooking, place the bacon in a skillet on the stove and cook it up.

Mince the garlic. Or have your husband do it for you. Ask him about the prison tattoo he has on his index finger. Don’t believe him when he says it’s really just a Sharpie marker.

Chop the tomatoes.

Halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the tomato pile.

Make sure the bacon isn’t burning. Remove it from the pan when it’s done and set aside.

Discard most of the bacon grease, but leave enough to cover the bottom of the skillet and ensure that the garlic won’t burn. Then add the rosemary, garlic, red pepper, salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned (about 2 minutes).

Take pictures as your hubby stirs the goodness. (With a two-prong fork? Shrug.)

Add in the tomatoes.

Take a look at all the awesomeness you have going on in your kitchen!

As the sauce cooks down, let your hubby chop up the bacon into bite-size pieces while you remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and get all those spaghettis out of the squash shell and into your bowls!

Cook on, sauce. Cook on… (This part seems like it took a while but I would guess it was really only about 5-7 minutes.)

The above, right photo is about what it looked like when we turned off the stove and started spooning it over the spaghetti squash. Top with bacon pieces, grab your favorite local brew, sit down, and enjoy!


Here’s a condensed version of the recipe. Please click here for the original recipe post on Design Sponge!

Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary and Tomatoes
Adapted from “Pasta with Bacon, Rosemary and Very Ripe Tomatoes” found here.


  • 1 ripe spaghetti squash
  • 3 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 2 large tomatoes (plus about a cup of random cherry tomatoes you have in your fridge), chopped/halved
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and place (cut-side down) in a baking dish and add about a half-inch of water. Bake for an hour or until the flesh is soft but still a little crunchy.
  • In the last 10 minutes of cooking the squash, add the bacon to the skillet and cook. Discard most of the bacon grease, leaving a thin layer in the pan.
  • Add the rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned (about 2 minutes). Add the tomatoes and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, remove the squash from the oven and scrape out the insides into your serving dishes. Cut the bacon into bite-size pieces. Add sauce to the squash and sprinkle with bacon pieces. Enjoy!

Definitely let me know if you make the recipe! I want to know what you thought!!



23 years ago on this day, I headed to the hospital after peeing on a stick in my dad’s office revealed that I had ketones in my urine. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what that means, ketones in the urine is a sign of extreme high blood sugar. Ketones are produced when one’s body burns fat instead of glucose for energy, and, if untreated, can cause diabetic coma and death.

Thankfully, my medically-trained parents knew that something was brewing and took me to the hospital, where I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. From that day forward, I was to monitor my bloodsugar with a strict diet, multiple daily fingersticks and several shots of insulin. I don’t remember much about that trip to the hospital except a few stories my mom has told me over the years. One was about my brother, Mark’s, name game with my endocrinologist, Dr. Mark Kipnes, and another revolves around my wanting to get home so I could share some Hershey Kisses with my older sister. Clearly I had no idea what was in store for me when I actually did get home.

Since 1988, the care and treatment for my diabetes has changed in many ways. Back then, I was on a strict diet, I learned to take insulin via multiple daily injections, and I eventually started to self-administer the shots. Now, I use an insulin pump to deliver insulin to my body so I can eat whatever I want (as long as I bolus to cover it). Then, I relied on fingersticks to reveal what my bloodsugar was that hour. Now, though I still check my bloodsugar via fingersticks, I also sometimes wear a continuous glucose monitor, which allows me to see what my bloodsugar is doing at all hours of the day (instead of just when I test).

Me (on the left) at a JDF luncheon. I won that Pink Panther!

However, there are many things about my diabetes that haven’t changed. Mainly, it still exists. When I was diagnosed, my mom was told that “a cure is right around the corner!” with an estimated arrival time of sometime before the turn of the 21st century. Well, we’re still waiting on that cure. I still sometimes drop so low that I can’t think straight and have to take a 20 minute (or more) break to allow my bloodsugar to rise. I still have high’s that cause that awful thirst and racing heart. I still like to act like these things don’t bother me and don’t interfere with my daily life.

The truth is simple: diabetes sucks. Yes, I can live with it, but I sure as hell wouldn’t choose it. It’s a pain in the ass (sometimes literally!) and I wish it would go away.

“The Anaheim Hangover,” a.k.a. “the time diabetes tried to ruin our family trip to Disneyland.”

Luckily, there are some really smart people out there who are working on finding a cure! My mom was heavily involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation‘s South Central Chapter when I was younger. We’d raise money and walk at the Walk for the Cure on an annual basis. Sometime between high school and college, I stopped participating. I have been wanting to participate for the past several years, but just never made the effort. This year, I’m changing all that and I’m going to be participating in the Walk for the Cure in San Diego on November 12! I have a handful of friends who are joining me and I’d love it if you’d consider sponsoring our efforts.

I’d love it if some of you would please honor the 23 years I’ve been dealing with diabetes by donating $1 per year for a total of $23. Your $23 will make a huge difference in my world, though any amount is greatly appreciated!

To make a donation, head over to my personal page at http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR/Walk-CA/Chapter-SanDiego4053?px=1516210&pg=personal&fr_id=1553 or you may mail me a check, made out to JDRF.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!


My Hero is Home!

Finally! My hubby is back from Afghanistan! Yesterday was a very emotional day and I am so happy that he’s back in my arms, safe and sound.

A few months ago, I started coordinating with our family and friends to send out fabric squares for them to sign and return to my amazing big sister, Kay, to make this quilt! I didn’t see any of the squares until I received the finished quilt in the mail, and I was SO ecstatic with how it turned out! I had the idea to make the quilt to hang on the garage door, but Kay had the idea to have everyone send in their sentiments. I was blown away. I hung it up in the afternoon so I could take some photos to send to everyone who contributed!

Then I spent the next several hours putting some finishing touches on the house, baking a pecan pie (which took twice as long as it should have–guess that happens when you forget to turn the oven on!), and working on some photo edits before my in-laws met up at our house to drive to the parade deck. We arrived at the parade deck in the San Mateo area of Camp Pendleton at about 10:30pm. The Marines and Sailors flew into March Air Force Base then rode buses to Camp Pendleton, arriving at San Mateo at about 11:30pm. At that point, they took about an hour to return their weapons to the armory before they marched over to the parade deck and were released!

At this point, my friend Stephanie of stephanieZphotography ordered me to drop my camera so I could give my hubby a big fat hug when they were released. I obliged!

It was SUCH a great night!

Huge thanks to my big sister, Kay, for the amazing quilt, and to all of our family and friends for supporting us over the past several months! And to Stephanie for capturing our reunion! Check out her facebook page if you want to see some of what she captured!


Pacific Beach Sunset

Last night, I met up with a group of photographers from Meetup.com called the Pacific Photographic Society. They’re a fun bunch that gets together several times a month. I’ve met up with them before to do a couple sunset shoots in downtown San Diego, a shoot at Mission San Juan Capistrano, and a couple shoots in Balboa Park. As much as I love my wedding and portrait work, it’s always nice to get out, practice some techniques, and photograph for fun! Here are a handful of the images I captured in Pacific Beach around sunset last night.

Here’s a shot of the bulk of the group, down on the beach.

Of course I had to turn around and capture the JRDN and TOWER23 complex! You do know I went to school to be an architect, right? :) I’ve been meaning to stop in there for dinner one night since I saw that it opened several years ago, but still haven’t made it in yet! Maybe one day…

I hope you’re having a great week!


In Search of the Best Veggie Burgers

I love going to different burger places around town. Not because I want a big patty of ground beef on an awesomely delicious bun. See, I love going to burger places that make their own veggie burgers to try them out. I’ve been to a handful of places, and once got conned into ordering a frozen veggie patty because the description in the menu made it sound like it was handmade. Never again! (Now I ask if the menu doesn’t specify!)

Well, the other day, I took a look in my fridge and noticed I had a rather large zucchini that my friend, Jon, had picked from his garden. I searched Pinterest for a zucchini recipe to try, instead of doing what I usually do with zucchini: either stir fry it up in a pan or spritz it with olive oil and throw it under the broiler. Let’s just say I was looking for a little zucchini inspiration.

Well, nothing on Pinterest was tickling my fancy, so I decided to check in a handful of magazines I’m subscribed to for a recipe. And bam! There it was! In the September 2011 issue of Whole Living was a recipe for “Zucchini Patty Sandwiches” that looked delicious! See, I had been wanting to start making my own veggie burgers, but just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. But now I had my chance!

So, I went to the store to gather the rest of the ingredients and came home to get cookin’! Here are the chickpeas, after their bath and then getting smashed. (Why yes, that is a potato masher. More on that later….)

Shredded zucchini goes in!

And now for the breadcrumbs, onion, egg, and salt.

Mix it all up!

Form into patties, spray with olive oil, and place in preheated oven.

Refrain from eating the raw veggie burger deliciousness. Trust me, it is hard! If you have to, I suggest keeping a bowl of cherry tomatoes within reach so you can snack on those instead of the veggie patty mix.

And enjoy!!!

Oh, yes! Very delicious!

Here’s the recipe!

Zucchini Patty Sandwiches
Source: Whole Living Magazine, September 2011


  • 15.5-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 small red onion, grated
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 whole-wheat pitas
  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 8 leaves tender lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves


  • Mash chickpeas in a bowl until smooth. Stir in breadcrumbs, zucchini, onion, egg, and salt. Form into eight 4-by-1/2-inch patties.
  • Saute patties in oil until golden and crisp, 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Halve pitas and stuff with patties, yogurt, lettuce, and mint.

My variations and notes:

  1. I mashed the chickpeas in a bowl, using our potato masher. In hindsight, I probably would just stick with a regular old fork. Some of the chickpeas didn’t get mashed, which was ok, but I think the texture would be better if all of them were mashed. Not all of them have to be paste-like, but, next time, I don’t want any whole chickpeas hanging out in my patties!
  2. I didn’t use any of the ingredients after the salt, except I did use some olive oil from my spray bottle. I thought the patties would be delicious without the yogurt/mint combo (which they were!) and I’m not a huge fan of pitas in general. So I opted for a side salad and some alfalfa sprouts, as you can see above!
  3. I forgot to whisk the egg. Whoops.
  4. I didn’t use a whole red onion. I had some left over from something else, so I probably just put in about 1/3 cup or so of chopped red onion. Chopped, not grated. Have you tried grating an onion? I don’t recommend it!
  5. I only made 6 patties instead of 8. They each used about 1/2 cup of the mix. They were pretty beefy (and, by beefy, I mean big). But I liked them that way. Have I ever mentioned that I’m a card-carrying member of the plate-cleaners’ club? :)
  6. And I didn’t cook them in a pan! I baked them in the oven instead. First, I sprayed the foil-lined pan with olive oil, then put the patties down, and then sprayed the tops of the patties with a little more olive oil. I started off with them in a 350-degree oven. They were in there for 20 minutes at that temperature, I think. I flipped them a couple times. Then I turned it up to 375 degrees for another 10 or so minutes. Really, I don’t remember how long I baked them. So use your judgement and watch them! :)
  7. Homegrown zucchinis are delicious!

So, the verdict on the best veggie burgers in San Diego? They’re made right in your kitchen!

Please let me know if you use the recipe! Leave a comment below–I want to know how yours turn out! And add a comment if you know of a veggie burger I need to try!


p.s. In case you’re wondering, right now, Longboarder Cafe in Oceanside and O’Brothers in Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego are in the lead for best veggie burger at a restaurant. The black bean patties at Smash Burger are pretty darn good too. But these homemade ones definitely take the cake! :)